Locally owned insurer Fidelity Life has launched Career connect, an education and skills programme that seeks to attract, train, and connect new recruits to the sector.
According to Fidelity Life, there is a need to bring in new advisers to the industry as some retire or choose not to adopt updated licensing requirements. In July, the Financial Markets Authority reported that only 663 providers, or just over a third of the adviser population, had received or applied for their full licence.
With the cost-of-living crisis and inflation impacting many New Zealand households, professional financial advice is arguably more important than ever, the insurer said.
In 2021, a study by the Financial Services Council found that those who had engaged with a financial adviser had greater peace of mind, control and confidence over their finances, which can help to transform their experience with money.
“We choose advisers as a core channel because they deliver better long-term outcomes for our customers,” said Trecia Brown, Fidelity Life head of solutions and services. “Without more qualified advisers, New Zealanders may miss out on making informed financial decisions, as they won’t have access to professional advice. We want to champion the profession and work together to find the next generation of advisers who will help solve the underinsurance issue in New Zealand.”
Career connect is a six-month part-time programme that can be completed while employed full-time. Existing adviser businesses can also register their interest to recruit qualified advisers from the programme.
The programme will have two intakes a year – in February and July – with 20 applicants selected per intake. Aside from the formal Level 5 Certificate and Financial Advice New Zealand ethics course, the programme also contains eight supplementary modules. These include code of conduct and legislation training, lead generation techniques, and personal brand development, with participants only required to cover the hard costs for the formal qualifications.
To support new talent, Fidelity Life will also offer five scholarships per intake, which will cover the costs of the formal qualifications and provide some additional financial support throughout the six-month programme. Fidelity Life said it recognises that switching careers can be challenging, and the scholarships will alleviate some of the financial pressure so candidates can focus on becoming qualified advisers.
“We know many new advisers struggle to last more than 18 months in the industry, so every aspect of Career connect has been carefully curated to fully equip graduates with the qualifications, soft skills, and knowledge to excel as an adviser and match them to businesses that can support them,” Brown said, according to Insurance Business.